Lemony-pine, citrus fruits, wood, herbal spice
Citral wood, pine
Apples, Lilac, Sage, Rosemary, Tea Trees, Cumin, Nutmeg, Fir Tree, Pine Tree
Molecular Mass: 136.23404 g/mol
Boiling Point: 185˚C (365˚F)
Vapor Pressure: 0.74 mm Hg at 25˚C
Major terpene in these cannabis strains:
Royal Jack, Jack Herer, SnowLAnd, Golden Pineapple, Dutch Treat, Golden Goat, Pineapple Kush, Ghost Train Haze, Lemon Sour Diesel, Afghani, Black Widow, Jean Guy, Grape Krush
Terpinolene is commonly isolated from trees and used regularly used as a fragrance in soaps, perfumes, lotions as well as it is added to bug repellent sprays to make them more effective. This terpene is usually found in high quantities in sativa cannabis strains but a few indica's will have it as a major terpene as well. Easily mistaken for limonene, as they both have citrus forward scents that center around lemons and oranges, the effects can be quite different. While it is found predominantly in sativa's strains, anything but a minor dose of terpinolene will produce a mild uplifting, sedative effect, which won't be energetic such as limonene forward flowers. Several studies have been done on terpinolene with some interesting results. Unlike the majority of cannabis terpenes, terpinolene shows no signs of reducing or stopping pain in any way but it has some other attributes such as being a sedative. Research has also shown it provides a hindrance on cells that might over produce, otherwise known as cancer, by affecting the protein that controls cell division. Aside from directly affecting cancers ability to start and multiply, it also has noted antioxidant properties when used in low concentrations below 75mg/L. Possible antimicrobial effects have been shown but those were in studies where terpinolene was only one of many compounds found in herbs that were used in those experiments, making it hard to draw conclusions without further research.
Otherwise known as delta-terpinene (δ), terpinolene is one of four monoterpenes that make up the terpinene group of terpenes. They are all colorless liquids with a similar turpentine aroma and flavor. All four can be found in cannabis but terpinolene is the only one recorded to be a major terpene, enough to be the top terpene in some strains, while the others are seen only in trace amounts so far. The only difference between the three is a minor change of where the carbon-carbon double bond is placed.
Terpinolene’s Effects and Benefits
Just as different cannabinoids have different effects, so do terpenes. These unique attributes contribute to the overall composition of a strain, adding a dimension to each one’s “personality.” Some of Terpinolene’s known effects and benefits include:
- Possibly anti-bacterial
- Reduces cell proliferation
You should note that other compounds modulate these effects. For example, strains containing high levels of the sedating terpene myrcene may not provide the alert effects mentioned above. It’s important to consider the entire chemical composition of a strain when looking for a specific effect.
Further Reading Sources:
Royal Queen Seeds: Terpinolene: Everything you need to know
The Leaf Online: Terpene Profile: Terpinolene
The Leaf Online: Terpene Profile: Terpinolene
Apothecarium: Terpenes: The Essentials - Terpinolene
Steep Hill: Terpenes
As with all areas of study on the medical qualities of cannabis, more research needs to be conducted to better understand the interactions Terpenes create, like Terpinolene, within the human body. Human trials might be in short supply, but the fact that Terpinolene does not appear on Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (unlike THC, CBD, and cannabis as a whole), means it is easy to obtain and legal to use in a variety studies.
A remarkable study done in 2012 by Japan's Nara Women's University has shown terpinolene to inhibit the over expression of proteins that regulate cell proliferation, which is another way of saying it stops cancer cells from forming or inhibits their growth.
A follow up of a 2012 study on patchouli done in 2013 recognized that the herb had sedative effects so the main active ingredient, terpinolene, was isolated. Tests of terpinolene only still showed signs of the same sedative effect.
A 2014 study concluded that terpinolene was also an antioxidant for human lymphocytes in mild to medium amounts (25, 50 & 75mg/L), but in extremely large doses (150mg/L) it can have cytotoxicity effects. Although they concluded that it had no genotoxic effects and acted as an antioxidant with potential to be used in low concentrations for antioxidant treatments.
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